It is becoming increasingly important to be conscious of how we contribute to the environment, both positively as well as negatively, with electronic waste being one of the top environmental issues in 2020.
E-waste is any material containing a power source (electronic or cable) and is defined as any waste material. These assets, such as our fridges and laptops, can be a harmful waste if they are not properly disposed of.
The annual report on E-waste’s global impact is published every year. It aims to educate the public about the problems they can tackle. We collected the 10 most shocking and interesting facts from the report that we think everyone should know.
The world produced more E-waste in a single year than all of Kenya’s population ( 53,000,000). This waste represents an increase of nearly 2 million tonnes over the previous. It is the equivalent of 200 Eiffel towers.
Only 17% of the 53.6million tonnes of electronic waste produced in 2018 was recycled. This means that 83% of electronic waste generated in 2019 was not properly disposed of and could be thrown into landfills, where it can release harmful chemicals into the environment.
We may not think about the future of an asset once we have disposed of it. However, electronics that are discarded into landfills can cause harm to residents. Inhalation, skin contact, ingestion, and swallowing toxic substances can lead to an illness that can even cause death.
The most commonly used items make up the majority of E-waste. The worst culprits were small equipment like cameras and vacuum cleaners. 17.4 million tonnes of waste was generated in 2019. This is more than 10 million tonnes higher than the screens and monitors that we expected to be the major culprits in Ewaste.
We deplete the planet’s reserves as we search for new electronic resources and mine them. It is important that devices and components are reused to preserve the planet’s resources and prevent the loss of precious metals.
It may be hard to believe, but our devices contain important metals such as iron, copper, and gold. These valuable assets can be recovered through proper recycling at Ecycle Florida centers. Specialists extract metals from redundant elements for reuse in new equipment.
8 million was lost. However, 9million was saved by professional recycling centers that extracted metals. Although this means that nearly 8 million was saved from landfills, lost waste flows, it is still less than 25% of what was lost.
The amount of raw material required each year to produce electronics is currently 39 million tonnes. This is because too much of it comes from extracting E-waste from the Earth.
8. 71% of the world’s population is covered under a national Ewaste policy, legislation or regulation.
Since 2014, 17 additional countries have been covered by some form of regulation, legislation, or policy. This is a significant step forward in educating the public about the e-waste problem. There is still much to be done. 117 countries lack these policies.
The annual increase in E-Waste is increasing steadily at 2 million tonnes per annum. It is predicted that our electronic waste will exceed the weight of 203 Empire State Buildings in 10 years.
The Global E-waste Monitor every year provides information that shows the impact of E-waste on the environment. The world produces electronic waste at a rate faster than any human can count. Below is The World Counts a counter that displays the estimated amount of E-waste that will be thrown away this year.
It is vital to make a contribution to E-waste solutions like recycling, reuse, or refurbishment. Learn more to learn how you can help address the E-waste Crisis.
This post was written by Steven Elia Co-Founder and Recycling Director at eCycle Florida. eCycle Florida is an R2 Certified electronics recycling company in the state of Florida. Our processes and procedures are dedicated to the proper destruction and recycling of your electronics. eCycle Florida is your go-to for Orlando electronics recycling.